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David di Michelangelo
May 2, 2022

David 140, the events to celebrate the 140th anniversary of Michelangelo's famous work at the Accademia Gallery

From 9 May, musicians, art historians and intellectuals will take turns to celebrate Michelangelo's David

It was 22 July 1882 when the Tribuna of the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence opened to the public, specially designed by the architect Emilio de Fabris to house and protect Michelangelo's David, which until nine years earlier had been placed on the Arengario in Palazzo Vecchio. 140 years have passed since then and the Accademia Gallery in Florence has decided to celebrate this anniversary with DAVID 140, a programme packed with events. Starting on Monday 9 May, Italian and international musicians, art historians and intellectuals will take turns under the Tribuna's skylight to pay their own personal tribute to this iconic work, known throughout the world.

David di Michelangelo Foto di Sandro Nardoni

Patti Smith, Cristina Acidini, Aldo Cazzullo, Cappella de la Torre, Théotime Langlois de Swarte and Violaine Cochard, Felipe Pereda and the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino are the guests of the first part of DAVID 140, which will continue after the summer, throughout 2022.

"We have invited personalities from the worlds of culture and entertainment to celebrate the David and the 140th anniversary of its removal to our museum, an intervention that was one of the first examples of protection and conservation of a cultural asset," said Cecilie Hollberg, director of the Accademia Gallery in Florence.

DAVID 140 will begin on 9 May with a concert by "la Cappella de la Torre", one of the world's leading ensembles for wind instruments, founded in 2005 and directed by Katharina Bäuml, "Ensemble of the Year" of the 2016 ECHO Klassik award. The Cappella de la Torre is best known for its research of music from the 15th to the 17th century, an important time span where ancient medieval sounds are still present and coexist with those of the Renaissance.

Cappella de la Torre

This will be followed on 16 May by Théotime Langlois de Swarte, a very young French violin virtuoso. His passion and eclecticism have enabled him to cover a repertoire ranging from the 17th century to contemporary music. He officially collaborates with the French label Harmonia Mundi, with which he recorded his first CD 'The Mad Lover' together with lutenist Thomas Dunford. He will play ancient musical instruments accompanied by harpsichordist Violaine Cochard.

Théotime Langlois de Swarte photo Julien Thiré

On 23 May Cristina Acidini, art historian, president of the Opera di Santa Croce, the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno and the Fondazione Casa Buonarroti e Roberto Longhi, will give a talk entitled Travi e rotaie. The transport of the David to the Accademia Gallery in 1873. He will tell the story of the complex "transfer" of the sculpture from Piazza della Signora to its triumphal entrance to the Accademia on a wooden wagon, designed by the engineers Porra and Poggi. The move took a full five days, from 31 July to 4 August, and, given the heat, could only be carried out from 4 to 11 am.

Cristina Acidini

On 30 May it will be the turn of another concert with the Accademia del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, which will open the evening with Sonnets XVI and XXXI from the collection Seven Sonets of Michelangelo op.22 by Benjamin Britten, as a testimony to Michelangelo's poetic art, followed by arias and excerpts from Attila and Ernani, operas by Giuseppe Verdi that were very popular in the second half of the 19th century, the period in which David was received at the Accademia.

The event on 6 June will be dedicated to Pietro Torrigiano, sculptor and medallist of the Florentine School, who was famous for his rivalry with his contemporary Michelangelo, to the extent that he threw a punch that broke his nose. The speaker will be Felipe Pereda, art historian and professor of Spanish art at Harvard University, who wrote the first biography of the artist ever written, Torrigiano. The man who broke Michelangelo's nose, published by Penn State University.

pereda felipe

Florence, moral homeland of the Italians is the title of the meeting on 13 June with Aldo Cazzullo, a well-known Italian journalist and writer, correspondent and columnist for the Corriere della Sera, who recently published A riveder le stelle for Mondadori. Dante, the poet who invented Italy, and who has a particular passion for Michelangelo's David.

Aldo Cazzullo

This first part of DAVID 140 closes on 27 June with another contemporary icon, Patti Smith, an extraordinary author and performer, one of the most charismatic and disruptive female figures in the history of music from the late 1960s to the present day, who continues to renew herself through her writing and to captivate even the youngest generations with the visionary intensity of the force she emanates. Patti will perform a special musical reading, a tribute to the genius of Michelangelo Buonarroti.

Patti Smith Photo credits Paolo Brillo

All events will be held on Mondays at 7 pm. Admission is free, subject to availability, last admission at 18.30.

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